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Golf Ball Specifications

There are golf ball standards and testing specifications established by the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews (R&A) and the United States Golf Association (USGA), to ensure fairness and consistency in the game. These standards encompass various factors such as size, weight, initial velocity, symmetry, and overall performance characteristics of golf balls.

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The USGA and the R&A set limits and regulations for golf balls, dictating factors like maximum size, weight, and initial velocity to maintain fairness and prevent excessive distance gains. For example, the maximum weight for a golf ball is 1.620 ounces (45.93 grams), and the maximum diameter is 1.680 inches (42.67 mm). (see more about ball sizes)

Golf ball manufacturers conduct rigorous testing to ensure their products comply with these standards. They use specialized equipment to measure factors like initial velocity off the clubface, spherical symmetry, and overall performance characteristics. This includes testing the compression of the ball, its aerodynamic properties, and durability under various conditions to meet the stipulated standards for quality and consistency.

Adherence to these standards and specifications is crucial for golf ball manufacturers to ensure their products are legal for tournament play and to maintain the integrity and fairness of the game at all levels.

What is golf ball roll-back?

Beginning in January 2028, there will be updated testing conditions used for golf ball assessment, which is being called golf ball roll-back. Golf ball standards are going to change, and consequently, players will lose distance on their shots. The reason for this is essentially that golf courses are not built for the distances that the players can now hit.

It is estimated that the longest hitters in the professional game will lose somewhere between 12 and 14 meters on their drive, while the average male amateur player is projected to lose between 2 and 4 meters.  

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